Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

A Beaten Man with Damaged Teeth

A Beaten Man with Damaged TeethOh, no! You were hit in the face while playing football and your tooth was broken. Worse yet, your gums are bleeding. Now what? Hopefully, this scenario will never happen to you, but another kind of dental emergency may affect you at some point in your life. It could be mouth trauma, or a sudden toothache, or a lost retainer.

It is not always easy though to determine which dental issues must be handled by the emergency dentist, which ones can wait for a few days, and which ones you can adopt a wait-and-see attitude with. A dental emergency is usually an injury that has occurred to the gums or teeth, which, if left unattended, could lead to permanent damage and more expensive future treatments. Seeing an emergency dentist such as the one at The Polwarth Dental Clinic in Edinburgh, within 30 minutes or less after an accident, can mean the difference between saving and losing your tooth.

Here are some common dental emergencies and how to handle them while waiting to be treated by an emergency dentist:

Knocked-Out Teeth

When a tooth or teeth have been knocked out, it is important to preserve them in order to increase your chances of saving them. To preserve the tooth, it must remain moist. If dirty, gently rinse with lukewarm water but do not disturb any tissue fragments. Try to insert the tooth back into the gum socket very carefully. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in the mouth next to the cheek, or in a glass of milk or salted water. Effective preservation of the tooth will keep it viable for up to an hour or more and the emergency dentist will be able to restore it without further complications.


No matter how diligent you are about your oral care routine, at some point in your life, you will probably experience toothache. Toothache is usually a symptom of underlying dental problems that may lead to serious complications if left untreated. If you experience toothache, call an emergency dentist, explain your symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible. You can temporarily ease the pain with a common pain medicine, but do not place the pill directly on your tooth or gums.